Pike continues with his previous lesson. I spotted a general theme of sorts that I would like to share. How often are we told that new is good and old is bad; really, virtually everyday I am afraid. Well, Pike upholds the ideals of ancient Knighthood. But my favorite is,
“If those who now pretend to be the great and mighty, the learned and wise of the world, shall agree in condemning the memory of the heroic Knights of former ages, and in charging with folly us who think that they should be held in eternal remembrance, and that we should defend them from an evil hearing, do you remember that if these who now claim to rule and teach the world should condemn or scorn your poor tribute of fidelity, still it is for you to bear therewith modestly, and yet not to be ashamed, since a day will come when these who now scorn those who were of infinitely higher and finer natures than they are, will be pronounced to have lived poor and pitiful lives, and the world will make haste to forget them.”
Simply stated, how will you be remembered? Not by your current fellow men, but by God, and perhaps even history. The Postmodern Mason wants to destroy our Masonic history and past by discrediting it, “a day will come when these who now scorn those who were of infinitely higher and finer natures than they are, will be pronounced to have lived poor and pitiful lives, and the world will make haste to forget them.” These are the thoughts of a man whom Postmodern Mason want to forget, and in some cases go out of their way to discredit. So the simple questions has to be asked… why?
Enjoy this powerful historical Masonic lesson from our Master sage Albert Pike:
Look to the ancient days, Sir E——-, for excellent examples of VIRTUE, TRUTH, and HONOR, and imitate with a noble emulation the Ancient Knights, the first Hospitallers and Templars, and Bayard, and Sydney, and Saint Louis; in the words of Pliny to his friend Maximus, Revere the ancient glory, and that old age which in man is venerable, in cities sacred. Honor antiquity and great deeds, and detract nothing from the dignity and liberty of any one. If those who now pretend to be the great and mighty, the learned and wise of the world, shall agree in condemning the memory of the heroic Knights of former ages, and in charging with folly us who think that they should be held in eternal remembrance, and that we should defend them from an evil hearing, do you remember that if these who now claim to rule and teach the world should condemn or scorn your poor tribute of fidelity, still it is for you to bear therewith modestly, and yet not to be ashamed, since a day will come when these who now scorn those who were of infinitely higher and finer natures than they are, will be pronounced to have lived poor and pitiful lives, and the world will make haste to forget them.
But neither must you believe that, even in this very different age, of commerce and trade, of the vast riches of many, and the poverty of thousands, of thriving towns and tenement houses swarming with paupers, of churches with rented pews, and theatres, opera-houses, custom-houses, and banks, of steam and telegraph, of shops and commercial palaces, of manufactories and trades-unions, the Gold-room and the Stock Exchange, of newspapers, elections, Congresses, and Legislatures, of the frightful struggle for wealth and the constant wrangle for place and power, of the worship paid to the children of mammon, and covetousness of official station, there are no men of the antique stamp for you to revere, no heroic and knightly souls, that preserve their nobleness and equanimity in the chaos of conflicting passions, of ambition and baseness that welters around them.
It is quite true that Government tends always to become a conspiracy against liberty; or, where votes give place, to fall habitually into such hands that little which is noble or chivalric is found among those who rule and lead the people. It is true that men, in this present age, become distinguished for other things, and may have name and fame, and flatterers and lacqueys, and the oblation of flattery, who would, in a knightly age, have been despised for the want in them of all true gentility and courage; and that such men are as likely as any to be voted for by the multitude, who rarely love or discern or receive truth; who run after fortune, hating what is oppressed, and ready to worship the prosperous; who love accusation and hate apologies; and who are always glad to hear and ready to believe evil of those who care not for their favor and seek not their applause.
But no country can ever be wholly without men of the old heroic strain and stamp, whose word no man will dare to doubt, whose virtue shines resplendent in all calamities and reverses and amid all temptations, and whose honor scintillates and glitters as purely and perfectly as the diamond–men who are not wholly the slaves of the material occupations and pleasures of life, wholly engrossed in trade, in the breeding of cattle, in the framing and enforcing of revenue regulations, in the chicanery of the law, the. objects of political envy, in the base trade of the lower literature, or in the heartless, hollow vanities of an eternal dissipation. Every generation, in every country, will bequeath to those who succeed it splendid examples and great images of the dead, to be admired and imitated; there were such among the Romans, under the basest Emperors; such in England when the Long Parliament ruled; such in France during its Saturnalia of irreligion and murder, and some such have made the annals of America illustrious.
When things tend to that state and condition in which, in any country under the sun, the management of its affairs and the customs of its people shall require men to entertain a disbelief in the virtue and honor of those who make and those who are charged to execute the laws; when there shall be everywhere a spirit of suspicion and scorn of all who hold or seek office, or have amassed wealth; when falsehood shall no longer dishonor a man, and oaths give no assurance of true testimony, and one man hardly expect another to keep faith with him, or to utter his real sentiments, or to be true to any party or to any cause when another approaches him with a bribe; when no one shall expect what he says to be printed without additions, perversions, and misrepresentations; when public misfortunes shall be turned to private profit, the press pander to licentiousness, the pulpit ring with political harangues, long prayers to God, eloquently delivered to admiring auditors, be written out for publication, like poems and political speeches; when the uprightness of judges shall be doubted, and the honesty of legislators be a standing jest; then men may come to doubt whether the old days were not better than the new, the Monastery than the Opera Bouffe, the little chapel than the drinking-saloon, the Convents than the buildings as large as they, without their antiquity, without their beauty, without their holiness, true Acherusian Temples, where the passer-by hears from within the never-ceasing din and clang and clashing of machinery, and where, when the bell rings, it is to call wretches to their work and not to their prayers; where, says an animated writer, they keep up a perennial laudation of the Devil, before furnaces which are never suffered to cool.
It has been well said, that whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses, whatever makes the Past, the Distant, or the Future, predominate over the Present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. The modern rivals of the German Spa, with their flaunting pretences and cheap finery, their follies and frivolities, their chronicles of dances and inelegant feasts, and their bulletins of women’s names and dresses, are poor substitutes for the Monastery and Church which our ancestors would have built in the deep sequestered valleys, shut up between rugged mountains and forests of sombre pine; and a man of meditative temper, learned, and of poetic feeling, would be glad if he could exchange the showy hotel, amid the roar and tumult of the city, or the pretentious tavern of the country-town, for one old humble Monastery by the wayside, where he could refresh himself and his horse without having to fear either pride, impertinence, or knavery, or to pay for pomp, glitter, and gaudy ornamentation; then where he could make his orisons in a church which resounded with divine harmony, and there were no pews for wealth to isolate itself within; where he could behold the poor happy and edified and strengthened with the thoughts of Heaven; where he could then converse with learned and holy and gentle men, and before he took his departure could exalt and calm his spirits by hearing the evening song (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 804-807).
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